Even though the United States seems to think it is the center of the Internet universe, it has been surpassed when it comes to broadband speed by just about every other industrialized nation on Earth. While that may not seem to matter all that much, it is starting to come back to bite us in the form of annoyed users.
NewTeeVee recently reported on a study conducted by TubeMogul that found that 81 percent of online video viewers leave a video if it pauses as little as one time for rebuffering. This is a problem since the research found 6.81 percent of all videos rebuffer at some point during their play.
Of course this rebuffering problem could be the fault of the user as much as that of the video content site. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) recently reported that the United States still lags behind countries such as Japan, Korea, France, Australia, Germany and the United Kingdom when it comes to average advertised broadband speeds. In actual applications of broadband, the United States does lead some countries in the number of cable subscribers per hundred households vs. the number of DSL subscribers per hundred. From the coverage from Computerworld:
Overall, the United States has 13.8 cable subscribers per 100 inhabitants versus 10.3 DSL subscribers per 100 inhabitants. The average for all countries measured by the OECD is 6.6 cable subscribers per 100 inhabitants and 13.7 DSL subscribers per 100 inhabitants.
Considering the size of videos, especially those that are transmitted in high definition, DSL speeds are just not going to be able to handle those without some rebuffering. So now it is also becoming a detriment to the content producers that the country is not working harder on making sure faster Internet speeds become more pervasive through out the country.
And if you think that people aren’t working on spreading higher speeds, just take a look at the recent news that Google is working with other countries to install a new $400 million undersea cable across the Pacific Ocean to help with content and service delivery to locations such as India and Southeast Asia. There is work going on in the world to deliver faster speeds, but it just doesn’t seem that users in the United States are not a priority for some reason.
The United States lack of speed is now beginning to have an effect on content providers in lost users, which in turn means lost revenue. Users have to be more proactive in supporting the Internet Service Providers (ISPs) that have invested in faster technologies, and failing that you need to contact your Congressman about making sure that some sort of national Internet plan is put in place. This is no longer about just upset consumers, it is impacting the bottom line of those trying to make their livings from the Internet.
Are you curious how your Internet speed stacks up? Wants to see if there is a faster provider in your neck of the woods? Check out our How Fast is Your Internet Connection? post to compare yourself with other users.